5 Best Articles This Week on Data – Dec 5

In case you missed it, a quick roundup this week for all things data. There are articles from Smart Data Collective, iHealthBeat, TechCrunch, Quartz, and The Atlantic: City Lab.  

How Data Visualization Can Benefit SMBs


Cameron Graham, Managing Editor @ TechnologyAdvice
Smart Data Collective: 1 December 2014

The target of this article is SMBs (small-to-medium sized businesses), but I think it has some great content that is usable by anyone who deals with data, reports, and business intelligence even in large corporations. It covers these key items: 1) What actually counts as data visualization, 2) Why it matters, 3) What’s required to create basic data visualizations, and 4) Some vendors that provide tools.

I would recommend it to anyone who needs a refresher or a basic, comprehensive overview.

Chicago DPH Uses Data Mining To Promote No-Cost Cancer Screening



This is a quick little blurb that highlights a small engagement done by a consulting firm, Civis Analytics, with the Chicago Department of Health. They used public census data and applied statistical analysis to help find and target information fliers towards uninsured women who would benefit from no-cost mammograms.

It points to a slightly longer article on Kaiser Health News (please go and read), but the takeaway is that there is much potential to provide small community-focused healthcare improvement, even before tackling the larger healthcare technology opportunities.

The Problem With The Internet of Things


Dan Conlon, CEO @ Cocoon
TechCrunch: 4 December 2014

The buzzword of the last quarter is “Internet of Things” – sounds very heavy, right? But, typically with overwhelming trends and hashtags, there’s more that lies beneath. What I like about this article is that it brings it home where a connected home can work and maybe where it’s being oversold just a teensy, weeny bit.

Why data about police killings is large unhelpful

Hanna Kozlowska
Quartz: 4 December 2014

In the talk about data, data, data, and more data, we’re often talking about what we think is good data (or rather, we assume it’s good data). Data cleansing and re-confirming the quality of data is the boring stuff, but here’s an article that explains why it’s valuable to both know and vet your source.

A New Harassment Policy for Twitter


Rose Eveleth, Acting Technology Editor @ The Atlantic
The Atlantic: 2 December 2014

I am currently reading the book You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier, and there is a passage in Chapter 3 which speaks specifically to the usage of “digital technology to harm innocent people who thought they were safe.” That book was written in 2011 –  we are 3 years later, and the problem, obviously, has not only not gone away—

It’s gotten worse. And so, maybe this is a step in the right direction. Maybe it will help.


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